One of the most common questions I get asked is how much adoption really costs and how we could possibly afford to pay for it. As I’ve said many times, we aren’t really “affording” it all, rather, we are fundraising nearly 100% of the fees, and God is the one affording it.
This post is intended to give you the real numbers in terms of international adoption costs. You can find more info on our grants & fundraisers + how funds for each cost are being met in Affording Adoption: Part 2.
Let me first say that the costs between international adoption, domestic infant adoption, and adoption through the foster care system vary greatly. Of note, fostering-to-adopt, at least in the state of Virginia, is free and usually even involves a reimbursement. (See here for more on the foster-to-adopt process and costs.) In general, international adoption and domestic infant adoption (not through foster care but through an agency) is costly. Costly, as in thousands or, often, tens of thousands of dollars.
Quick tangent on this whole cost thing: You may have read my questions of adoption ethics and my struggle over issues of finances and culture in regards to adoption. Without getting into a full sermon at this juncture, let me just say, friend, that was not your adoption costly? Your life to the full was purchased at the highest cost. Your father in heaven spared nothing, NOTHING, to come after you and give you life. (see 1 Corinthians 6:20, Romans 8:32, John 10:10) Because He’s asked us, we will spare nothing to get to our little one.
Inter-country adoption fees vary depending on agency, homestudy fees, and country. For the purposes of this page, we’ll be showing you our specific adoption costs for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through a licensed, non-profit placing agency. Having compared several country programs and various agencies, I would say these fees are comparable across most countries and agencies.
Our homestudy was completed by a licensed, non-profit agency, separate from our placing agency.
Application fee: $300
Homestudy Cost: $1900
Fingerprinting: $100 ($50 per adult)
Adoption Education Classes: about $200
Post-placement visits + reports: approx. $1000
DRC PROGRAM FEES
Application fees: $250
Agency fees: $5850
USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services): $890 form fee
Dossier Translation + Legalization: $500-$1000
International DRC country fees: $20,000
Agency Education Classes: $150
DNA Testing: $350-$500
Total Fees for Homestudy + Legal Adoption
(not including our travel): $31,720+
For us, travel costs are estimated to be between $5,000 and $8,000 on top of the above fees, for a grand total of somewhere between $36,720 and $42,020.
With Adrian’s salary as a youth pastor being the only full-time income in our house, clearly we aren’t anywhere near to being able to pay for this on our own. Yet where God calls, He supplies! I honestly 100% trust and believe that he will provide.
Another important piece to note is that you don’t pay all of this in one chunk. It is little by little. There are also MANY grants, loans, and fundraisers available to help. Check out our fundraising page for updates on what we’ve paid when.
My heart in sharing the numbers with you is twofold:
1) that you will be able to follow our journey and watch as the Lord provides so we can testify together for His provision, and
2) that readers who may be considering adoption but put off by the expense would see a real life example that it is possible, that you don’t have to be rich, and that there are many resources to help!
Please check back later this week for the follow up posts on adoption fundraising…
What other questions do you have about funding adoption? Leave a comment + join the discussion!